Saturday

How Gum Disease Can Affect Your Overall Health


How can gum disease affect your general health? After all, what's going on in your mouth should only affect your teeth and gums, right?
Wrong !
While dental infections and inflammation obviously CAN affect your teeth and gums,  your general health is ALSO affected by how healthy your teeth and gums are. It's all to do with the bacteria in your mouth that cause dental problems. These bacteria cause a chronic inflammation which has effects elsewhere in your body. For example:

Heart Disease:
You're more likely to have a heart attack if you have a significant level of gum disease, .  It's as simple as that.
But it gets worse. If you have severe gum disease, you are almost TWICE as likely to have a heart attack.

How does this work? The bacteria involved in gum disease may get into your blood circulation. The bacteria can then start to collect in the arteries of the heart. This gradually builds up into a layer, reducing blood flow and slowly reduces the blood supply to the heart itself.

A bigger problem occurs if a little clot breaks off, because it can get jammed into a small artery, completely blocking it. This starves that section of your heart of oxygen. You just had a heart attack.

Another problem is that chronic inflammation caused by gum disease can cause an increase in the build up of fatty deposits inside the arteries of the heart. This also restricts the blood supply of the heart.

Diabetes:
 We know that if you have diabetes, you are more likely to pick up infections, and you also heal more slowly. If you have diabetes, you are more likely to have gum disease. Why? Because gum disease is basically an infection.
But there's more. Gum disease can also make your diabetes worse. Let me repeat, because it's really important: If you have diabetes, and you have gum disease, the gum disease can make your diabetes worse! Gum disease makes it more difficult for you to maintain your correct blood sugar.

So it works both ways - diabetes increases your risk of having gum disease, and if you have significant gum disease, it can make your diabetes harder to control.

Osteoporosis:
 This is a condition where your bones become less dense as you get older. It means that the bone around your teeth can also become less strong. If you have gum disease AND osteoporosis, the bone around your teeth can shrink much more quickly. You can end up with some loose teeth.
Again, there seems to be a two-way relationship here. If you have a significant level of gum disease, it can make your osteoporosis worse.

Stroke:
 There are two types of stroke. In the first type, a small blood vessel in your brain can haemorrhage, causing a build-up of pressure.  In the second type,  a blood vessel in your brain can become blocked by a blood clot. This is an ischaemic stroke.
In both types of stroke, a small part of your brain tissue dies. Research seems to show a link between people who have a stroke and their level of gum disease. This points to gum disease being an important factor in causing a stroke.

The reason is similar to the link for heart disease.  Bacteria from your gums can get into the blood stream and  settle out into deposits on the inside of blood vessels. Then a tiny clot can break off and is carried to the brain, where it blocks a small blood vessel and starves that part of your brain of oxygen.

So, gum disease can affect your general health because it involves a mass of bacteria under the gum edge and between the teeth, causing inflammation. Your body does not like inflammation, especially chronic long-standing inflammation. It sets up all sorts of reactions and responses from your immune system.

This is all avoidable if you invest some time removing the plaque from your teeth and under your gums each day.
Your life might depend on it!

This article is contributed by our guest: 

Dr. Richard Mitchell

2 comments:

Sabina said...

making sure to take even better care of my gums from now on!

Periodontal disease cure said...

All-natural therapy for gum disease also includes drinking of fruit juices which are rich in vitamin C. Consuming fruits like oranges, limes and guava also count. Some information share that chewing on spearmint or peppermint can relieve this condition quick. Those who can't withstand such practice use mouthwash that's flavored spearmint or peppermint. There are people who massage their gums with tea tree oil for better blood flow. It's believed that tea tree oil blocks the development of harmful bacteria in the mouth. Maybe, you have currently noticed these tips as well as your oral issue persists. It might be very best then to seek advice from a dentist. Click here to know more about Prevent periodontal disease

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